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Traces of the Deluge
October 25, 2007 19:07

The flood

Russian geologists have found traces of a catastrophic flood in the Southern Transbaikalia and reported their finding to the “Proceedings of the Academy of Sciences”.

Natural disasters, similar to the biblical Deluge, seem to have happened in Eurasia quite often in times, when glaciers covered much more surface than they do now. Glacier, located in the north, was a natural dam for Siberian rivers, leading to appearance of giant lakes in the Northern Asia. In mountaneous areas glaciers have formed barrier basins, which often broke and flooded vast surrounding territories. Tremendous flows of mud and water were as fast as 20 m per second.

Research fellows from Irkutsk State University, Institute of Earth’s Core and Institute of Geochemistry have spotted traces of a massive and disastrous water break in the middle reaches of the Onon River, located in the Tsasucheiskaya trough of the Transbaikalia. The discovery was made after scientits have studied relief of the region via GoogleEarth, so anyone can see results of the Deluge-like flood, typing “barun torey” (the name of the lake, located in the Chita Region) in the search bar and carefully observing territories, situated north-westwards from said lake up to the Tsasuchey.


The thing is that relief of the Tsasucheiskaya trough – hills, mounds, ridges, hollows and their lakes – is oriented from north-west to southeast. Such linearly oriented system of ridges and hollows shows that long ago a great water flow has been running here. Northern border of the trough is notable for large lakes, and small lakes are situated inside the trough. Said lakes have mainly oval and round shape, however, some, which are elongated, stretch strictly from north-west to southeast.

Geologists still argue about the origin of these ridges and hollows, which are oriented in ine direction. Some say relief has eolian (when wind sweeps up dunes) origin, others vote for fluvial origin (when same process is done by running water). Irkutsk scientists suggest that this phenomenon roots in a massive break of a giant basin, possibly connected with ancient Selenga lake, which used to occupy vast territories eastwards from the Baikal Lake. This hypothesis is proved by several facts, one of which is that ridge zones alternate with hollow zones. Middle part of the Tsasucheiskaya trough is rich in hills and ridges, while north and south of the trough, near the Barun-Torey lake, are covered with hollows and depressions.


  Described geological structures stretch till China’s Harbin and Changchun, slightly “turning” northwards. Such kind of relief shows that great flow was divided into several smaller ones.

It is interesting to note that positive topographic forms look like Baer knolls of the Caspian region. Similar parallel chains of hills, made of clay and sand, extend in latitudinal direction in the Manych trough, where hypothetic strait between the Black sea and the Caspian sea, was located. Such hillocks were first described by K. Baer and got his name. Alike hillocks were spotted in Western Siberia, where water broke from east to west.

    Russian Science News

Kizilova Anna

Tags: Baikal     

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